Rabbi Engelmayer’s comment that we have no leaders “in either house of Congress, not even the White House itself” does not recognize the reality of what has gone on in Washington the last four years (“It’s all our fault,” December 28). Factions within the Republican party, for whatever reason – ideological, racial, or partisan – have never accepted the legitimacy of the Obama presidency. They (this particular faction) had set as their primary goal the defeat of the president. Their method was obstructionism at every turn. Whatever President Obama was for, they were against, whether or not they had been for it in the past. At any cost to this country and its economy, the president was not to be allowed a victory that might increase his stature.
We are a democracy that depends upon cooperation to make things work. Compromise cannot be seen as evil and legislation cannot be viewed as a zero sum game where, if I win, you lose. To fault President Obama for a lack of leadership in the face of the forces arrayed against him is unrealistic. What he has achieved is to be admired.